A New Item for Loki’s Altar

February 13, 2018 | Filed Under Altars | No Comments

Because, if there’s anything He likes, it’s a new toy!

 

Yes, that is an authentic Marvel “Thor: Ragnarok” Hot Wheels Loki car in the corner of the altar!

The helmet isn’t detachable, but that’s probably for the best—I’d end up removing it and putting it back, over and over, giggling madly, instead of, you know, meditating or something.

The full altar, which is shared with The Nornir, Vor, Mordgud, Heimdall, and Sleipnir:

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Small Devotions: Starting the Day

February 12, 2018 | Filed Under Devotions | No Comments

I am not a morning person. There is no way to adequately describe how much I am not a morning person. I just don’t function well in the morning, regardless of how much sleep I’ve had, no matter how well I slept. Morning is confusing and strange and I would really prefer to opt out of it. However, as I have a day job which requires me to be available to clients during business hours, morning is something I must deal with, and attempt to do so with a modicum of grace, and a minimum of grumbling.

Most days, I do not have to set an alarm; I can trust that I am going to wake up when I need to, within a ten minute range, plus or minus. On mornings when I must be up at a specific time, I set two alarms. If I have to be up at, say, 7:30, I set a gentle sound (the Harp ringtone in iPhone—I’ve repurposed my old phone as my bedside alarm clock and jukebox) for 7:15, and then a more insistent ringtone at 7:30. I use Bell Tower for the second, because while it’s difficult to ignore, but it’s not unpleasant or startling.

Setting two alarms gives my brain time to process the idea that it’s time to get up. That may sound strange to people who bounce out of bed like solar-powered bunnies, but it takes me a while to get from the concept to the reality. The first alarm gently notifies my brain that the day will begin shortly, so that, by the time the second alarm goes off, I’m not completely confused as to why my alarm is going off.

The first ten minutes of the day are the most difficult. There are complicated things, like trying to figure out where the floor is, how my feet work so I can walk to my closet, and how to put on my bathrobe and slippers. (I told you—I really am not a morning person.) I meander around a bit, and drink a full glass of water. The oxygen and hydration help shake my body loose from sleep, and after five or ten minutes, my brain has finally caught up with my body, and I am able to get on with things.

I have this posted on the wall of my bedroom:

 

The photo is one I took when visiting Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland, so it calls to mind pleasant memories, which is a good start to the day.

I breathe in, raise my arms, and recite the verse. This helps me remember that I have a variety of energies available to me as I move through my day, and that I can draw on those energies as needed.

I’m still not necessarily happy about being awake, but I feel better about the fact that I am awake, and it does set a positive tone for the day. And some days need all the help they can get in this regard.

I hope this inspires you to find a way to make the first minutes of your day more pleasant!

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Small Devotions

February 11, 2018 | Filed Under Devotions | No Comments

I apologize for the long silence. I thought I was doing alright, or at least well enough, but I’ve found that actually, I am experiencing profound grief after my grandmother’s death. It’s been many years since someone so close to me has died, and I had forgotten how deeply it affects me. In this instance, I think the effect is even more pronounced, because she was the family matriarch, and there’s no one to fill that role now. That shift also carries an irrevocable farewell to childhood; no matter how old you are, if you have a grandparent, some part of you is still their grandchild, and that provides a certain comfort and sense of safety that is suddenly gone when your grandparent dies.

So, that’s what I’ve been wrestling with, and it has affected most areas of my life: day job, my writing, home care, family responsibilities, and my spiritual practice. The others I (mostly) have work-arounds to manage while I sort myself out, but there’s no work-around to spiritual practice. One is doing one’s devotions, or one is not.

On an ideal day, I have an hour to spend in contemplation. (Not all of my days are ideal. Yet.) Most days this year have been significantly less than ideal so far, and so my time for devotion has varied from nearly zero on too many days, to an actual hour on a few days.

I know I’m not the only one who experiences this challenge. The best laid plans of mice and meditators, and all that.

I realized that, even though I’m not regularly sitting down at my altars, I do have a practice of small actions throughout the day that has been helping to keep me anchored, even though I haven’t considered it much before this weekend. These are small moments and small actions that are touchpoints throughout my day, which arose gradually and without a lot of planning or intent on my part, and which serve as reminders to stop and take a minute to get out of my head and restore some perspective to the day.

Since I’m not the only one who faces the issue of work/life/devotions balance, I will be sharing these small devotions ideas on my blog.They’ll be posted with the category tag “Devotions”, so they’ll be easy to find. I hope they are helpful, and inspire you to find ways to create thoughtful and focusing moments in your day as well.

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Daily Poem: He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven ~ William Butler Yeats

January 25, 2018 | Filed Under Poem for Hela | No Comments

He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
~William Butler Yeats

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

 

Instead of a photo, today’s poem has a video, featuring the poem read by none other than Tom Hiddleston. Amusingly enough, someone set the voice track against footage from the first “Thor” film, which doesn’t really fit with it, but it’s the only recording I could find. I recommend headphones for this one. Enjoy!

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Daily Poem: The Scattering ~ Penelope Shuttle

January 24, 2018 | Filed Under Poem for Hela | No Comments

The Scattering
~ Penelope Shuttle

I cast you into the waters.
Be lake, or random moon.

Be first light,
lifting up its beggar’s cup.

I scatter your ashes.
Be the gale teaching autumn
to mend its ways,
or leopard so proud of his spotted coat.

Be the mentor of cherry trees.

I cast your dust far and wide,
a sower broadcasting seed:
Be wild rose or hellebore or all-heal.

Descend as a vein of silver,
never to be seen,
deep in the lynx-eyed earth.

Rise as barn owl white as dusk;
dove or raven marvelling at his flight.
Know different delights.

Scattered LIght - Jim Campbell - Perth 2013

Scattered Light – Jim Campbell – Perth 2013

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